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Kansas City REALTORS® Meet with Kansas Legislators to Discuss 2019 Legislative Priorities

December 14, 2018 in Kansas Advocacy

Last week, over 60 Kansas City REALTORS® and members
of the Kansas Legislature gathered at the annual Kansas City REALTORS®
Legislative Breakfast to discuss the most pressing issues facing REALTORS® and
the Kansas City region during the upcoming 2019 Kansas Legislative Session. By
attending this complimentary program, REALTORS® were armed with the latest
information on what is happening on local and state government issues in the
state of Kansas.

Partnering with the Kansas Association of REALTORS®
(KAR), KCRAR works with elected officials to create economic growth, provide
quality and affordable housing opportunities, sustain strong local public
schools, invest in regional infrastructure and transportation and protect
private property rights in the Kansas City region.

As part of this ongoing effort, Patrick Vogelsberg,
Vice President of Government Affairs for the Kansas Association of REALTORS®,
provided the attendees with a briefing on the 2019
Kansas REALTOR® Legislative Priorities
, which include the following:

  1. Preserving the
    ability of Kansans to claim itemized deductions on their state income tax
    returns.

    Federal tax reform in 2017 doubled the federal standard deduction. Kansas state
    law requires taxpayers who take the federal standard deduction to also take the
    state standard deduction. If the Kansas Legislature does not change the law to
    allow taxpayers who take the new federal standard deduction to still claim
    itemized deductions on their state income tax returns, most families and
    individuals who have taken Kansas itemized deductions in the past will pay more
    in state income taxes in 2019.
  2. Defending
    recent property tax reforms to protect the right of citizens to vote on local
    property tax increases.
    REALTORS® support policies that give citizens a greater direct voice
    in decisions that will increase their tax burden. Enacted in 2015, the “public
    vote requirement” gives citizens the right to vote when local governments
    increase property taxes over the previous year by more than the rate of
    inflation. In 2019, the Kansas Legislature should do nothing to erode the
    ability of Kansas citizens to vote on property tax increases.
  3. Expanding
    incentives for the construction of affordable rural housing in Kansas.
    There is a severe shortage
    of affordable housing inventory in most Kansas communities. The problem is even
    worse in rural communities where developers can be reluctant to build due to a
    shortage of qualified subcontractors and an inability to spread infrastructure
    costs out over a larger plot of new developments. In 2019, the Kansas
    Legislature should expand the existing Rural Housing Incentive District Act to
    make it easier to use the program to create more affordable housing in rural
    communities.
  4. Protecting
    home buyers by regulating the home inspection industry.
    Prior to 2013, Kansas
    maintained a reasonable set of regulations on the home inspection industry to
    protect consumers by ensuring that home inspectors had adequate education,
    training and experience to assist consumers in the home buying process.
    Unfortunately, these regulations were allowed to sunset by the Kansas
    Legislature and have not been in place for the last five years. In 2019, the
    Kansas Legislature should support the reinstatement of the Kansas Home
    Inspectors Professional Competence and Financial Responsibility Act.
  5. Increasing the
    professionalism of the real estate industry by increasing broker pre-license
    educational requirements.
    In conjunction with vigilant enforcement of the REALTOR® Code of
    Ethics, REALTORS® are acutely aware of the importance and necessity of the
    continued regulation of the real estate industry by the Kansas Real Estate
    Commission (KREC). Towards this end, REALTORS® support legislation that will
    increase the number of credit hours required for broker pre-license educational
    requirements in order to enhance the competency of new supervising brokers.

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